President talks with three parties on EC formation

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DHAKA : President Abdul Hamid held talks separately with leaders of Gano Forum (GF), Ganotantry Party (GP) and Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan (BKA) at Bangabhaban today as part of his move to take opinion of registered political parties over formation of the Election Commission (EC).

The GF placed a nine-point proposal while the GP and the BKA put forward an eight-point proposal each for formation of a new EC during their talks with the President at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban.

A 14-member delegation of GF led by its President Dr Kamal Hossain proposed formation of a five-member search committee to scrutinize the ‘qualification priorities’ for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

During the 45-minute meeting, the GF also proposed enactment of a law as per the constitution to appoint the election commissioners and ensure financial freedom of the EC.

Describing the discussion initiative by the President as a positive step for democracy, GF leaders said discussion is indispensible to flourish democracy. Solution to any problem is possible through discussion, they added.

They hoped that President Abdul Hamid will be able to form a strong EC by taking the right decision at the right time.

Abdul Hamid said there is no alternative to developing a culture of mutual tolerance among political parties to hold fair polls and hoped that the political parties will put their effort in this regard.

Ganotantry Party

A 14-member delegation of Ganotantry Party (GP) led by its president Barrister Arosh Ali proposed making a law as per the constitution to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and election commissioners (ECs) and keeping a provision to form a constitutional council in the law to appoint the CEC and ECs.

During the 40-minute meeting with President Hamid, the party placed an eight-point proposal over the formation of a search committee and the new EC.

The proposals include forming a search committee to form the EC alternative to enactment of the law and ensuring woman representation in the EC. The delegation said the recently concluded Narayanganj City Corporation election is the beginning of good elections and hoped that the election will be considered as a model for holding fair elections in the future.

Abdul Hamid thanked the delegation for their constructive proposals to form the next EC.

Khelafat Andolan

Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan (BKA) proposed appointing election commissioners in phases to maintain the continuity of the Election Commission and utilize the past experience.

During the 30-minute meeting with President Abdul Hamid, a 10-member delegation led by party chairman Shah Ataullah Ibne Hafezzee Huzur placed an eight-point proposal, including enactment of a law to form EC.

The BKA leader said the President is the guardian of the state and hoped that a door will be opened through the ongoing discussion for a qualitative change in the election process.

Abdul Hamid said abiding by ethics is very important in politics. Cooperation of political parties is indispensible to hold fair polls, he added.

Secretaries concerned to the President were present at the meetings.

The President initiated the formal talks with political parties for formation of the EC by holding discussion with the BNP on December 18 last year.

He took the dialogue initiative as the tenure of the current Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led EC expires in February.

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